Just a few topics of discussion on an otherwise slow day.
Michael Cunningham reported prior to the Jazz game that there was some sniping and fussing amongst the players during their loss to the Bucks on Wednesday. While it isn't really that much of a surprise and I would be more worried if it didn't occur but it is worth keeping an eye on going forward.
"I want those guys upset. I want them mad that they didn't play well, they didn't play the way they are capable of playing,"
"I think it's healthy for a team if it's done in the right way. But it it causes any kind of problems among the players, then it's a problem."
Drew is right here as it is essential for a team to be able to police itself however it is a fine line to walk in my opinion. The players said that they worked their differences out the following day with these comments from Al Horford.
"We came back together [Thursday] solid. We have to make a commitment to each other to always try to stick together even when the going gets tough."
Even with the players working out their differences, Larry Drew wasted no time in calling out the team on their lack of effort against the Bucks. Cunningham reports that as they closed practice Drew addressed the team and told them that they shouldn't take the criticism personally.
"This is no time to be sensitive," Drew said. "I’m willing to admit when I’m wrong, and you have to be able to look in the mirror. There is going to be accountability."
This is an area that I think the Hawks have struggled with for the last several seasons and it is key for Drew to address and handle this now. If the Jazz game was any indication it would seem that most of these problems were gone other than the fact that they didn't exactly close the deal. However, the effort was there they just couldn't knock down a free throw at crunch time. There have been times in the past that players on this team have struggled to take that criticism and relate it in a positive way on the court. That is Drew's challenge here going forward.
The Timberwolves are coming to town on a hot streak
The T-Wolves come to Atlanta tomorrow riding a two game win streak with victories over Sacramento and New York. Micheal Beasley recorded a career high 42 points in the victory over Sacramento. Not to be outdone, Minnesota forward Kevin Love scored 31 points and grabbed 31 rebounds in the victory over the Knicks. It was the first 30-30 game in the NBA in 28 years. Moses Malone was the last player to accomplish the feat and it came in 1982.
Even though they just defeated the T-Wolves 113-103 in Minnesota last week, the Hawks simply cannot overlook this team on Sunday. It is early but the Hawks need a win and this is where it has to start.